My primary line of research applies a cultural sociology lens to contextualize long-term trends in mental health and treatment in the United States. I focus on changing understandings and beliefs at the macro level and how they influence individuals’ behaviors and decision-making. In my first book project, I am using computational and qualitative text analysis and custom text datasets of newspaper articles and Reddit fora to analyze how news media and individuals think about and make sense of mental health and illness over time. My other research on mental health uses the National Health Interview Survey to assess trends in psychological distress and treatment-seeking behaviors.
In a second line of collaborative research, I explore how young adults’ gender beliefs are informed by cultural ideas of individualism and agency and contribute to persistent gender inequality by directing young adults away from structural solutions. The project, which uses longitudinal interview and survey data, is still ongoing and findings have been published in Social Problems and Sociological Perspectives.